Judson University to honor alumni during Homecoming Weekend

  • Heather Palacios

    Heather Palacios

  • Beverly Calender-Anderson

    Beverly Calender-Anderson

  • Raul Rodila

    Raul Rodila

  • Kevin Svensen

    Kevin Svensen

Submitted by Judson University

Judson University will honor alumni for exemplary work in their careers, churches and communities during Homecoming 2018, Sept. 27-29.

The individuals will be acknowledged with Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Alumnus of the Year honor and the Family Legacy Award during a special Alumni Luncheon and Program on Saturday, Sept. 29, in Lindner Commons, 1151 N. State St., Elgin.

The Alumnus of the Year Award is given to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to the Church and to society. The 2018 recipient is Heather Palacios.

Heather Palacios is a wife, mother and an outspoken advocate for people with mental illness. She also serves on the creative and communication teams at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., where her husband, Raul, is the executive pastor. Their church has played a vital role in rebuilding local community following a mass shooting in February that left 17 high school staff and students dead. Palacios graduated from Judson in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in Business Management. In 2007, she launched the ministry, WondHerful.net, dedicated to mental health and suicide extinguishment through blog posts, social media and an eclectic speaking circuit that takes her from churches to companies to prisons to police stations. During Homecoming, she will also serve as speaker for the Alumni Chapel on Friday, Sept. 28.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to recognize alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and community as they model excellence in their vocation.

Among those to be honored are: Beverly Calender-Anderson, Raul Rodila and Kevin Svensen.

• Beverly Calender-Anderson has served as the director of the City of Bloomington (Ind.) Community and Family Resources Department since 2014. The department provides programs and services that engage residents in service, encourages participation in government, connects community members to resources, and celebrates the city's unique and diverse history. Prior to this position, Calender-Anderson served as Bloomington's Safe and Civil City Director, a position she held for nine years. A Chicago native, she is a 1975 graduate of Judson University, where she had the honor of being the school's first African-American homecoming queen. She also studied criminal justice at DePaul University and has more than 30 years of experience in fund development, volunteer management and public relations.

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• Raul Rodila has 20 years of experience in building, designing and developing custom software systems for enterprises such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Microsoft, Tyco, Safeway and Tenet Healthcare. At the foundation of every project, Rodila hearkens back to Biblical principles. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Arrow Digital, he creates and manages relationships with enterprise customers and leads large-scale custom digital transformation initiatives for logistics and financial processes in the areas of audit, tax, mergers and acquisitions. He graduated from Judson in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in computer science and received a master's degree in computer science from Northern Illinois University in 1997. Rodila and his family volunteer on mission trips and invest their time and money in churches and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He has written articles published on Microsoft's MSDN and Arrow Digital sites and is involved in the .NET community speaking at Code Camps and other technology events.

• Kevin Svensen is an associate with Glave & Holmes Architecture in Richmond, Va. Svensen graduated from Judson in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and again in 2009 with his Master of Architecture degree and was part of the first class to complete the concentration in traditional architecture and urbanism. He also spent a summer at the Tuscan Classical Academy in Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy. Svensen serves as a lead designer and project manager in Glave & Holmes' higher ed studio and has worked on multiple award-winning projects at universities across Virginia and North Carolina. Last year, he was selected for American Institute of Architects (AIA) Virginia's Emerging Leaders in Architecture Honors Program and received the Richard L. Ford Jr. Award, which recognizes excellence in emerging professionals. He also volunteers with CHAT (Church Hill Activities and Tutoring), a nonprofit in his neighborhood where he teaches cabinetry and construction skills to junior high and high school students.

The Dr. Richard Clossman family will be presented with the 2018 Family Legacy Award. Dr. Clossman was a Human Institutions professor from 1972 to 1997 and now holds the title of Faculty Emeritus. The Clossman family members who have continued the Judson legacy are Richard and Gloria Clossman; Paul and Mary Ann Lamb; Freddie and Amy King; Jeffrey and Catherine Krikau; and David and Tiffany Lamb.

Register for Homecoming 2018 at judsonu.edu/homecoming.

The Alumni Luncheon and Program will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch tickets are required and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $20 and $10 for children, age 4 to 12.


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